Diamond tells Cipriani not to focus on England

Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has told Danny Cipriani not to become distracted by thinking about making the England squad for the Autumn Internationals.

Twenty-six-year-old Cipriani is in an England selection battle with several other players such as Owen Farrell, George Ford, Freddie Burns and Stephen Myler.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has delayed naming his England squad until Monday for the Autumn Internationals and Cipriani hopes that he did enough on tour in June to be called up again.

“He’s just got to keep doing what he does, whether he gets in it or not,” Diamond told BBC Radio Manchester.

“He’s been playing well when the team hasn’t been playing well.”

Cipriani made his name playing for Wasps before moving to Australia where he played Super Rugby for the Melbourne Rebels and he is now in the final year of his contract with Sale Sharks.

At the height of his England career Cipriani displaced Jonny Wilkinson but then fell out of favour for almost six years until June this year when he featured in two Tests for England against World Cup champions New Zealand.

England coach Lancaster will be visiting Sale’s training ground this week to discuss his options for England and Diamond has suggested that he will be giving Cipriani a vote of confidence.

“At this moment in time we’ve not got a dominant pack, behind a dominant pack he’s a different player,” he said.

“Who is going to win you a game with the other 14 fantastic players around you? Stephen Myler or Cipriani?”

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